Seeing smoke and a helicopter over Tehaleh? Here’s what’s happening, firefighters say

Residents of the Tehaleh community might hear and see firefighters Tuesday as East Pierce Fire & Rescue conducts a wildfire training exercise.

There will be a significant fire agency presence and a helicopter during the large-scale exercise which started at 11 a.m. and is expected to wrap up about 2 p.m., according to East Pierce Fire on X. It is taking place in an undeveloped area of Tehaleh.

Simulated smoke will be used and no live fire, the department said.

Wildfire season in Washington typically starts in May and ends in October. In a typical year there are roughly 900 wildfires across the state, with 70% of them happening in Eastern Washington, according to the Western Fire Chiefs Association.